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System and method to apply topping materials to print products

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System and method to apply topping materials to print products


Disclosed are systems and methods, including a method that includes depositing a curable adhesive onto a first surface of a substrate in a pre-determined pattern, placing topping material onto the substrate with the deposited adhesive, and applying UV energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material to cause curing of the deposited adhesive.

Browse recent Scodox Ltd. patents - Rosh Ha'ain, IL
Inventors: Eli Grinberg, Kobi Bar
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120269983 - Class: 427470 (USPTO) - 10/25/12 - Class 427 
Coating Processes > Direct Application Of Electrical, Magnetic, Wave, Or Particulate Energy >Electrostatic Charge, Field, Or Force Utilized >Superposed Diverse Or Multilayer Similar Coatings Applied

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120269983, System and method to apply topping materials to print products.

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CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application claims benefit and priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/282,136, filed Dec. 22, 2009, and entitled “METHOD OF APPLYING GLITTER TO A SUBSTRATE,” the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

BACKGROUND

The present disclosure is directed to producing print products (e.g., cards, printed literature, etc.), and more particularly to a system and method to apply topping materials, for example, glitter materials, to print products.

Glitter, metallic and glass powders that reflect light are widely used for decorative applications such as posters, birthday cards and the like. Conventionally, a self-drying, water based, plastic adhesive is silk screened or rolled onto a substrate, glitter powder is poured, and the substrate is then tipped and shaken and/or vacuumed to remove excess glitter. Such techniques tend to result in low resolution print products.

SUMMARY

In some embodiments, the present disclosure is directed to providing a method for applying glitter to a substrate, including digitally printing an adhesive onto the substrate to form a pattern, pouring glitter over the substrate and adhering the glitter to the pattern, exposing glitter coated adhesive to pattern to UV light, and removing excess glitter.

Optionally, removal of excess glitter comprises at least one of the group consisting of vacuuming, tipping and tamping the substrate. Optionally, the procedures implemented may include pressing the glitter into the adhesive pattern layer using, for example, a roller or plate.

Optionally the procedures implemented may include applying an over-layer of polymer onto the glitter layer. Optionally, the glitter layer includes particles of adhesive. Typically the over-layer is applied by a technique selected from the group consisting of digital printing, lamination, silk screening, brushing and rolling. In some embodiments, the over layer is a thermoset that is cured by exposure to UV light.

In some embodiments, a decorated substrate comprising a layer of glitter applied to a substrate with a digitally printed UV curable adhesive is provided.

The systems and methods described herein are advantageous over conventional systems and methods for adding topping materials (e.g., glitter) to media in that by using, for example, the UV cured thermoset adhesives the glitter better adheres to the adhesive and/or substrate than with regular water based glues. Where a sealing layer is applied onto the glitter layer, the results are further improved.

Thus, in one aspect, a method is disclosed. The method includes depositing a curable adhesive onto a first surface of a substrate in a pre-determined pattern, placing topping material onto the substrate with the deposited adhesive, and applying UV energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material to cause curing of the deposited adhesive.

Embodiments of the method may include any of the features described in the present disclosure, including any of the following features.

The topping material may be a glitter material.

The method may further include removing excess topping material not adhered to the deposited adhesive by performing one or more of, for example, vacuuming the excess topping material, tipping the substrate in order to cause at least some loose non-adhered topping material be removed, and/or tamping the substrate.

The method may further include facilitating adhesion of the topping material to the deposited adhesive by performing one or more of, for example, a) placing topping material comprising melted powder with solid powder, b) applying a magnetic field under the substrate to cause metallic-based topping material to be subjected to a magnetic force directed towards the substrate, c) applying air pressure onto the first surface of the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material, d) generating an electrostatic field under the substrate to cause metallic-based topping material to be subjected to a magnetic force directed towards the first surface of the substrate, e) pressing the placed topping material to the adhesive deposited on the substrate using one or more nipping rollers, and/or f) using and curing exothermal adhesives to cause the release of heat from the exothermal adhesive to melt the topping material.

The method may further include applying an over-layer of polymer onto a layer of the placed topping material. The over-layer may be applied by a technique selected from the group consisting of digital printing, lamination, silk screening, brushing and rolling. The over-layer may be a thermoset that is cured by exposure to the applied UV energy.

Depositing the adhesive may include digitally printing the curable adhesive using a digital inkjet.

The method may further include pre-curing the curable adhesive to initiate the curing process of the adhesive and manipulate a viscosity level of the curable adhesive.

The method may further include applying infrared energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material.

The curable adhesive may include one or more of, for example, a radical type adhesive and a cationic adhesive.

The method may further include removing contaminants prior to the placing of the topping material by performing one or more of, for example, vacuuming the contaminants, tipping the substrate in order to cause at least some of the contaminants to be removed, and/or tamping the substrate.

In another aspect, a system is disclosed. The system includes an adhesive depositing machine to deposit a curable adhesive onto a first surface of a substrate in a pre-determined pattern, a placement device to place topping material onto the substrate with the deposited adhesive, and a UV energy source to apply UV energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material to cause curing of the deposited adhesive.

Embodiments of the system may include any of the features described in the present disclosure, including any of the features described above in relation to the method and the features described below, including any one of the following features.

The system may further include one or more devices to facilitate adhesion of the topping material to the deposited adhesive by performing one or more of, for example, a) placing topping material comprising melted powder with solid powder, b) applying a magnetic field under the substrate to cause metallic-based topping material to be subjected to a magnetic force directed towards the substrate, c) applying air pressure onto the first surface of the substrate including the printed adhesive and the placed topping material, d) generating an electrostatic field under the substrate to cause metallic-based topping material to be subjected to a magnetic force directed towards the substrate, e) pressing the placed topping material to the adhesive deposited on the substrate using one or more nipping rollers, and/or f) using and curing exothermal adhesives to cause the release of heat from the exothermal adhesive to melt the topping material.

The UV energy source may includes one or more of, for example, a UV fluorescent lamp, a UV LED device, and a UV laser devices.

The system may further include a topping material removal unit to remove excess topping material not adhered to the deposited adhesive by performing one or more of, for example, a) vacuuming the excess topping material, b) tipping the substrate in order to cause at least some loose non-adhered topping material be removed, and/or c) tamping the substrate.

The system may further include another energy source to pre-cure the curable adhesive to initiate the curing process of the adhesive and manipulate a viscosity level of the curable adhesive.

The system may further include an infrared energy source to apply infrared energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material.

The adhesive depositing machine may include a digital inkjet to digitally print the curable adhesive.

The details of one or more variations of the subject matter described herein are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features and advantages of the subject matter described herein will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other aspects will now be described in detail with reference to the following drawings.

FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an example system to produce print products.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of another example system to produce print products.

FIGS. 3-6 are schematic diagrams of additional systems to produce print products.

FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an example procedure to produce print products with applied topping materials.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart of an example procedure to produce print products that include applied topping materials.

Like reference symbols in the various drawings indicate like elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

Disclosed are systems, machines, devices and methods, including a method for depositing a curable adhesive onto a first surface of a substrate in a pre-determined pattern, placing topping material onto the substrate with the deposited adhesive, and applying UV energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material to cause curing of the deposited adhesive. In some embodiments, to further harden the adhesive, other types of energy, including infrared energy (from the same source producing the UV energy or a different source) may be used.

Also disclosed is a system that includes an adhesive depositing machine to deposit a curable adhesive onto a first surface of a substrate in a pre-determined pattern, a placement device to place topping material onto the substrate with the deposited adhesive, and a UV energy source (which may include, for example, a UV fluorescent lamp, a UV LED device, a UV laser device, a gas-discharge lamp, etc.) to apply UV energy to the substrate including the deposited adhesive and the placed topping material to cause curing of the deposited adhesive.

As used herein, the term ‘Inkjet Printing’ or ‘Inkjetting’ refers hereinafter to an adaptation of the conventional technology developed for the deposition of ink onto paper, including: thermal inkjets, piezoelectric inkjets and continuous inkjets, as a mechanism for the deposition of various materials in liquid form, including adhesive, onto a substrate. An inkjet can include, for example, a conventional an inkjet printer, a toner-based printer, a silk screen printer and/or a lithography-based printer.

The term ‘nipping’ refers hereinafter to the action of tightly holding or squeezing at least two items together.

The term ‘curing’ refers hereinafter to the toughening or hardening of a polymer material by cross-linking of polymer chains, brought about by procedures that include, for example, procedures based on use of chemical additives, ultraviolet radiation, electron beam (EB), heat, etc.

With reference to FIG. 1, a schematic diagram of system 100 to produce print products, including print product to which topping materials (such as glitter) are added is shown. The system 100 includes an adhesive depositing section 110 which may include, in some implementations, a digital printing device 110 (e.g., an inkjet printer) to digitally deposit is some pre-determined pattern deposit material composed of a layer of adhesive 122, generally having a thickness of about 1 to 200 microns, onto a first (e.g., top) surface of a substrate 120. Other types of depositing printing devices that may be used include, for example, a toner-based printer, a silk screen printer, a lithography-based printer, etc. When deposited on the substrate 120, the adhesive layer 122 may be tacky or non-tacky. A conveyer belt 130 advances the adhesive-topped substrate (which, as noted, may be patterned) in a direction indicated by an arrow 132.

In some embodiments, the adhesive may include a radical type adhesive, a cationic adhesive, etc. Such adhesives may include, for example, photo polymeric adhesives. Further details about procedures to deposit/print adhesives are provided in, for example, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/721,234, entitled “A System and Method for Cold Foil Relief Production,” the content of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety.

The substrate 120 may be constructed from a material composition including, for example, metal, plastic, paper, glass, non-woven fabric, methacrylic copolymer resin, polyester, polycarbonate and polyvinyl chloride, plastic, paper, glass, non-woven fabric, methacrylic copolymer resin, polyester, polycarbonate, polyvinyl chloride, etc. The substrate 220 may be in sheet form or roll form and may be rigid or flexible.

In some embodiments, the structure comprising the substrate 120 and the curable adhesive 122 may be exposed to energy applied from a first, optional, energy source 140 located upstream of a placement device to add the topping material to the substrate with the deposited adhesive, thus initiating the curing of the adhesive 122 and manipulating (regulating) the adhesive\'s viscosity. The pre-curing process, which may be controlled by the composition of the adhesive, the energy source used, and the manner in which energy is applied, may initiate the curing process. During the curing process, the adhesive may or may not become tacky. After adding a topping material, such as glitter, the adhesive is cured to cause it to become substantially tacky and thus to cause added materials, such as glitter to substantially adhere to the deposited adhesive.

In some embodiments, the adhesive has an initial viscosity of 10 cps (centipoise). In some embodiments, the energy source 140 may be a radiation source, such as a ultraviolet source, emitting UV radiation onto the curable adhesive 122 to initiate the curing process. Examples of UV radiation sources that may be used as the UV energy source 140, or as any of the UV sources of the system 100 and 200 described herein, include, for example a UV fluorescent lamp, a UV LED device, a UV laser device, etc. Partial curing performed on the adhesive, e.g., to initiate the curing, causes the polymerization of the material to start so that the adhesive starts to change its phase from liquid to solid. In some embodiments, the energy source 140 may be, for example, an infrared source, a lamp generating incoherent optical radiation, a laser source, a gas-discharge lamp, an electron beam generator, a heating element, etc. Other types of energy sources may be used.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120269983 A1
Publish Date
10/25/2012
Document #
13261223
File Date
10/01/2010
USPTO Class
427470
Other USPTO Classes
118623
International Class
/
Drawings
6



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